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A Guide To Worldwide Internet Access
Can you imagine what it would be like to be able to stay in touch, anywhere, anytime? That is the major selling point of companies providing worldwide Internet access. Their goal is to keep the world in touch. The world has become a much smaller...

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The Ins and Outs of Free ISPs Yes, Virginia, there are companies that offer free Internet service. The common definition of an ISP is a company that provides Internet access, usually for some kind of fee. The amazing part is that there are...

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Features and pricing are the two prime considerations in selecting your VoIP provider and deriving the maximum benefit from the product. With most VoIP users, all the features available in a particular product will rarely if ever be used. All...

VoIP 101: Voice over IP for Beginners
For those who have never heard about the potential of VoIP, be prepared to radically change the way you think about your current long-distance calling plan. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is very simply, a method for taking ordinary analog...

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Defining broadband can get complicated There are many different takes on how to actually define the word: broadband. The first and most obvious way to define it is a transmission medium that allows for multiple pathways and types of data, far...

10 Years in Internet Time

2005 marked approximately 10 years since what many consider the dawning of the commercial internet and World Wide Web with the newly-formed WWW Consortium (W3C) and the availability to purchase domains by the public. It's been quite a ride for some and a yawn for others, but one thing is for certain: the internet has changed the world forever.

For starters, as of last year, more people in the US are using broadband access as opposed to a dial-up connection providing many times the download speed. From news to sports to business and online shopping, internet users find it difficult to remember the days of plain text and waiting for sometimes hours to download pictures, videos, music and other media-rich content. Today the use of such interactive content is main-stream and provides infinite more utility to the internet than a decade ago.

It was recently reported that Instant Messaging is used more often than e-mail by more than 50% of adult Americans, and among the younger set, that number jumps to over 62%. Instant messaging has become a routine activity from college campuses to corporations, integrating simple text and multi-media with PCs and even cell phones.

This year also marks the first point in history that more people turn to the internet to search for businesses and shopping than they do to the printed material we have traditionally kept in the kitchen drawer under the telephone, and over 60% of US households in a recent survey said they research the internet before shopping locally for products and services. Relevancy, accuracy, variety, and rich content have made the internet an integral part of our daily lives. Who would have guessed so much as recently as 10 years ago?

So what will the next 10 years bring? Here are some predictions based on a variety of industry watchdogs and experts:

1. With nearly 45% by some counts, of the US population meeting legal handicap and/or other impairment criteria, expanding the usability of the

internet to those individuals will be both an ethical and financially prudent investment. Addressing motor and cognitive impairments as well as vision and hearing challenges the internet can, and will be improved and adapted to providing accessible content to more and more of the population. The UK and Australia both already have laws on the books requiring internet sites to be accessible to various degrees and accessibility guidelines/recommendations are already in place here in the US with several agencies reviewing appropriate requirements and ultimately laws in our country. WSI among others is already in position to offer products and services geared towards this new and important initiative.

2. The internet will continue to expand and provide convenience to our lives outside of the traditional computer. Available as we speak is a 3rd generation (3G) of cell phones which allow downloading of directions, maps, music, scores and even video entertainment right to your phone on demand. In some markets, users can shop, place orders via their telephones, be notified that their order is ready and see a map of how to get there to pick it up. Even Dick Tracey would have gotten a kick out of that!

We have come a long way in the first 10 years of the commercial internet. It has helped to form many aspects of our culture for both good and bad, and by all predictions will continue to be an increasingly important part of how we work, study, shop, and even play in the coming decades. What role are you or your organization playing?

About the author:

John Geiger owns and operates a local affiliate of WSI Internet Consulting and Education, a Toronto based global network of consultants, developers and production centers providing consultation as well as turn-key internet business solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises to include web-site design, development and hosting; site maintenance and upgrades, full e-commerce solutions,etc. See


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